Cracks in concrete and masonry can be unsightly and even dangerous if left untreated. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to prevent cracks from forming in the first place. By following these preventative measures, you can help ensure the longevity and durability of your masonry structures.
Properly prepare the surface before pouring or laying.
One of the most important steps in preventing cracks in concrete and masonry is properly preparing the surface before pouring or laying. This includes removing any debris, dirt, or loose material from the surface and ensuring that it is level and smooth. Additionally, using a bonding agent or primer can help improve adhesion and prevent cracks from forming.
Use reinforcement materials such as rebar or wire mesh.
Another effective way to prevent concrete cracks is to use reinforcement materials such as rebar or wire mesh. These materials are placed within the concrete structure to provide additional support and strength, helping to distribute the weight and stress evenly. This can help prevent cracks from forming due to excessive weight or pressure on the surface.
Control the curing process to prevent rapid drying or freezing.
The curing process is crucial in preventing cracks in concrete and masonry. Rapid drying or freezing can cause the surface to shrink and crack. To control the curing process, it's important to keep the surface moist for at least seven days after pouring. This can be done by covering the surface with a damp cloth or plastic sheeting. In addition, avoid pouring concrete in extreme temperatures, as this can also cause rapid drying or freezing.
Use expansion joints to allow for movement.
Expansion joints are a crucial preventative measure to stop cracks from forming. These joints allow for movement and expansion caused by temperature changes, moisture, and other factors. Without expansion joints, the pressure from these factors can cause the surface to crack. It's important to place expansion joints in strategic locations, such as where the structure meets a different material or where there is a change in direction.
Regularly inspect and maintain the structure to catch and repair any potential cracks early on.
In addition to using expansion joints, it's important to regularly inspect and maintain your concrete and masonry structures to catch any potential cracks early on. Look for signs of damage such as hairline cracks, spalling, or discolouration. Addressing these issues early on can prevent them from becoming larger and more costly to repair. Regular maintenance can also help to prevent cracks from forming in the first place by keeping the surface clean and free of debris that can cause damage.
Bringing on a professional and reputable masonry company in Markham is essential to ensure your masonry's longevity. An experienced masonry contractor will know the importance of the steps above to minimize the chances of premature cracks. Now, in the City of Markham where the temperature and climate can be extreme in certain times of the year, cracks may eventually occur; however, if you catch them early on, you can minimize the chance of the crack getting bigger.